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Delta variant spreads into Wood County

CHARLESTON — Two cases of the more-infectious delta variant of the COVID-19 coronavirus have been found in Wood County, according to the latest data released on Thursday from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

Reported delta mutant strain infections more than doubled in the 24-hour period from Wednesday to Thursday morning, from 43 to 100, the state said.

“This variant is different. It is much, much, much more contagious,” Gov. Jim Justice said.

The variant quickly surges, then quickly drops off, he said. Hopefully, it’s at the point of dropping off in West Virginia, Justice said.

“But we know better. We know better,” he said.

Locally, two cases of the delta variant have been recorded in Wood County, according to the latest data. Four have been found in Wetzel County and two are in Jackson County.

One shy of a quarter of all cases, 24, are in Berkeley County. Seventeen are in Monongalia County, six in Morgan, five in Webster, four in Nicholas, three each in Barbour, Putnam, Greenbrier, Jefferson and Marion, two each in Taylor, Preston, Mineral, Kanawha and Lewis and one each in Braxton, Cabell, Gilmer, Hampshire, Harrison, Lincoln, McDowell, Raleigh, Summers, Upshur and Wyoming.

Active infections of the COVID-19 coronavirus have been trending upward in West Virginia, according to the latest pandemic report.

The state Thursday reported another increase of more than 150 active cases from Wednesday to Thursday. The state also reported 255 new positive cases in the 24-hour period since the pandemic report on Wednesday.

The state reported 1,910 active cases as of Thursday morning, an increase of 152 from 1,758 on Wednesday morning.

Active cases of the virus have more than doubled in West Virginia in the last three weeks.

The most recent low was on July 9 with 882 cases. Active cases have not been below a thousand since July 2020.

The highest number of active cases was in January with more than 29,000.

Nearly all the new cases are of unvaccinated residents, according to state health officials.

Wood County leads the region in the number of active cases with 60. Berkeley County in the Eastern Panhandle leads the state in active cases with 168, followed by Kanawha with 144 and Harrison with 131.

Case numbers from other local counties: Calhoun, four; Doddridge, seven; Gilmer, three; Jackson, 21; Pleasants, four; Ritchie, three; Roane, five; Tyler, 13; Wetzel, 30; Wirt, four.

Five more deaths from the virus were reported on Thursday, including a 75-year-old man from Randolph County, a 62-year-old man from Randolph County, a 66-year-old man from Kanawha County, a 92-year-old man from Marion County and an 88-year-old man from Kanawha County.

“Every life lost to this pandemic is a tragedy,” said Bill J. Crouch, DHHR Cabinet Secretary. “Please schedule a COVID-19 vaccine to protect yourself and those around you.”

The death count was at 2,944 on Thursday.

Hospitalizations related to COVID-19 complications increased to 133 on Thursday from 127 on Wednesday. Fifty-four people are in an intensive care unit and 20 people are on ventilators.

Webster County was marked red, the worst level in the County Cleryt System.

Twenty-one counties including Wood, Tyler and Wetzel are yellow, second lowest on the chart based on percent positivity and infection rate, and seven counties are at the mid-level gold.

Vaccine information is available at vaccinate.wv.gov or by calling at 1-833-734-0965. A clinic without an appointment will be held from noon to 4 p.m. today at the Mid-Ohio Valley Transit Authority on Juliana Street.

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